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G U I D E

T O

AUTOMATED
AIRLINE SAFETY
INFORMATION
SHARING SYSTEMS

June 2003

029402.qxd

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Guide to
AUTOMATED AIRLINE SAFETY INFORMATION SHARING
SYSTEMS

Prepared by: GAIN Working Group C, Global Information Sharing Systems

June 2003

DISCLAIMER

RESTRICTION OF LIABILITY
Unless otherwise specifically stated, the information contained within this guide is made
available by the Global Aviation Information Network (GAIN) for information purposes only.
Neither GAIN nor any of its participants or entities thereof, assumes any legal liability or
responsibility for the guides accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information,
apparatus, product or process disclosed, or represents that the use of any information would not
infringe privately owned rights. Reference within this guide to any specific commercial product,
process, service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, individual or otherwise, does not
constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by GAIN or any entities
thereof. Any views, analysis and opinions expressed are under the sole responsibility of their
authors.

Table of Contents
Page
Foreword................................................................................................................................. iii
Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................v
1.0 Introduction........................................................................................................................1
1.1 Purpose of Guide......................................................................................................1
1.2 GAIN Overview.......................................................................................................1
1.3.Working Group C: Global Information Sharing Systems .......................................1
1.4 Scope........................................................................................................................2
1.5 Organization of this Guide.......................................................................................3
1.6 Guide Update and Feedback ....................................................................................3
2.0 How Information Sharing Contributes to Airline Flight Safety ...................................5
2.1 Benefits of Sharing Safety Information ...................................................................5
2.2 Examples of the Contribution of Information Sharing to Flight Safety ..................6
2.3 Role of Information Sharing Systems......................................................................7
3.0 Considerations for Implementing Sharing Systems .......................................................9
3.1 Data Quality.............................................................................................................9
3.2 Information Protection .............................................................................................9
3.3 Data Integration .....................................................................................................11
3.4 Information Collection...........................................................................................11
3.5 Information Distribution ........................................................................................11
4.0 Types of Sharing Systems................................................................................................13
4.1 Near-Real Time Airline Safety Event Sharing Systems ........................................14
4.2 Periodic Aggregation and Analysis Systems .........................................................15
4.3 Lessons Learned and Corrective Action Systems..................................................16
5.0 Summaries for Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems ..................19
5.1 Air Transport Association (ATA) Aviation Safety Exchange System (AASES)..20
5.2 Aviation Safety Information Network (ASI-NET ) ...............................................23
5.3 Aviation Safety Data Sharing System (ASDSS) ...................................................25
5.4 AvShare..................................................................................................................27
5.5 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Safety Information Exchange
(SIE).......................................................................................................................29

Table of Contents
(continued)

Page
5.6 International Air Transport Association Safety Trend Evaluation and
Data Exchange System (STEADES) ....................................................................31
5.7 International Air Transport Association Safety With Answers Provided
(SWAP).................................................................................................................33
5.8 Italian Flight Safety Committee (IFSC) Incident Sharing System ........................35
5.9 Maintenance Malfunction Information Report (MMIR) System...........................37
Appendices
Appendix A: Feedback Form................................................................................................ A-1
Appendix B: List of Acronyms and Abbreviations................................................................B-1
Figures
Figure 1-Near-Real Time Airline Event Sharing System Functional Diagram.......................14
Figure 2-Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System Functional Diagram.............................15
Figure 3-Lessons Learned and Corrective Action System Functional Diagram .....................17

ii

Foreword

This guide on airline information sharing systems is the first in a planned series issued by the
Global Aviation Information Network (GAIN) Working Group C. As an effort to increase the
awareness of information sharing systems in the aviation community, Working Group (WG) C
has begun to identify and document information sharing systems to support the major segments
of aviation operations, focusing on airline flight safety. The reader should view this guide as a
living document that will be updated periodically with improved coverage of information sharing
systems developments.

This guide is not a comprehensive inventory of information sharing systems. Rather, the intent
of the WG in this first issue is to highlight some sharing systems and information sharing
concepts that may be useful to the airline industry. The group would like to receive feedback
from the aviation community on their experience with information sharing systems. Suggestions
on information sharing systems are welcome.

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iv

Acknowledgements
The following GAIN WG C members were primarily responsible for the preparation of this
guide to Aviation Safety Sharing Systems:
Robert Aub, xwave
Tom Curran, Aer Lingus
Tim Fuller, AvSoft U.K.
Michael Goodfellow, International Air Transport Association
Geoff Gosling, Independent Consultant
Andy Muir, FAA Office of System Safety
Howard Posluns, Transport Canada
Jari Nisula, Airbus
Warren Randolph, FAA Office of System Safety
Ingrid Russell, SRA International, Inc.
Grant Schneeman, Abacus Technologies Corporation

WG C members and others who contributed their ideas and comments on this guide or who
assisted in the review and documentation of specific Aviation Safety Sharing Systems are as
follows:
Ismo Aaltonen, Finnair
David Briles, FAA Office of System Safety
Jack Cole, Air Transport Association
Ed DeCampli, Helicopter Association International
John Denman, International Air Transport Association
Carolyn Edwards, FAA Office of System Safety
Shozo Hirose, Association of Air Transport Engineering & Research, Japan
Cristina Hunt, Phaneuf Associates Incorporated
Silvano Manera, Alitalia
Alex, Richman, Algo Plus Consulting Ltd.
Jean-Jacques Speyer, Airbus
Fabio Toti, Alitalia

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Purpose of Guide
The purpose of this guide is to encourage airlines to share aviation safety information to improve
safety. In this guide, Global Aviation Information Network (GAIN) Working Group C (Global
Information Sharing Systems) has documented various approaches to sharing safety information
among airlines using automated systems. WG C hopes to illustrate the value of sharing
information with others, discuss considerations for implementing a sharing system and highlight
the different types of sharing systems in use today. Since sharing systems are typically more
valuable with more participants, WG C promotes sharing systems to help the systems obtain
more participants. In addition to spurring additional airlines to join sharing activities, the
information presented here can help organizations improve existing sharing programs or start
new sharing initiatives by recognizing approaches used successfully in the airline community.

1.2 GAIN Overview


GAIN is an industry and government initiative to promote and facilitate the voluntary collection
and sharing of safety information by and among users in the international aviation community to
improve safety. GAIN was first proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in
1996, but has now evolved into an international industry-wide endeavor that involves the
participation of professionals from airlines, employee groups, manufacturers, major equipment
suppliers and vendors, and other aviation organizations. To date, five world conferences have
been held to promote the GAIN concept and share products with the aviation community to
improve safety. Through 2003, nearly 900 aviation safety professionals from 49 countries have
participated in GAIN.
The GAIN organization consists of an industry-led Steering Committee, three working groups, a
Program Office, and a Government Support Team. The GAIN Steering Committee is composed
of industry stakeholders that set high-level GAIN policy, issue charters to direct the working
groups, and guide the program office. The Government Support Team consists of
representatives from government organizations that work together to promote and facilitate
GAIN in their respective countries. The working groups are interdisciplinary industry and
government teams that work GAIN tasks within the action plans established by the Steering
Committee. The current GAIN working groups are: Working Group B--Analytical Methods and
Tools, Working Group C--Global Information Sharing Systems, and Working Group E--Flt
Ops/ATC Ops Safety Information Sharing. The Program Office provides technical and
administrative support to the Steering Committee, working groups, and Government Support
Team.

1.3

Working Group C: Global Information Sharing Systems

GAIN Working Group C was chartered by the GAIN Steering Committee in January 1999 to
promote and facilitate the development and implementation of systems to support the global

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

sharing of aviation safety information. The Steering Committee has assigned three focus areas
to WG C to help accomplish that mission:

Facilitate the development of systems to share airline safety event information


among trusted groups in near-real time
Promote aviation industry sharing systems
Facilitate the development of a system to share safety lessons learned and
corrective actions within the aviation community.
This guide was developed to specifically address the second item.
WG C is a collaborative effort involving volunteers from airlines, governments, airframe and
avionics manufacturers, university research groups, software vendors, and others interested in
furthering aviation safety. WG C activities are directed by the GAIN Steering Committee and
elected WG co-chairs. As of June 2003, the WG C co-chairs are Mr. Tom Curran, Manager Air
Safety at Aer Lingus and Mr. Howard Posluns, Chief, Advanced Technology, at the
Transportation Development Centre of Transport Canada. Membership in WG C is open to any
interested volunteers. These volunteers have worked with the GAIN Steering Committee to
develop Work Plans that lay out specific tasks to accomplish the mission of WG C. WG C
members have met every 2 to 3 months since 1999, held teleconferences between meetings, and
exchanged many ideas, information, and draft products by e-mail. The members volunteer to
work on various aspects of the Work Plans and collaborate with other WG C members to assess
progress and improve on interim products.

1.4

Scope

This guide documents all automated airline aviation safety information sharing systems known
by GAIN WG C to exist in the world. WG C defines such systems as follows:
Computer-based systems that allow airlines and/or their airline organizations
to share aviation safety information with other airlines and/or their airline
organizations via e-mail systems, web-based systems, or transmittal of
electronic storage media (e.g., CD-ROMs).
This guide does not attempt to document many other systems or activities that share aviation
safety information, many of which have been used for years and may be very effective and/or
efficient in their own way. This guide is limited to systems that are automated, so it does not
include sharing activities that involve exchange of paper-based information or verbal information
(such as round-table meetings of safety officers). This guide is limited to systems for sharing
information among airlines and/or their airline organizations (such as the International Air
Transport Association or the Air Transport Association of America), so it does not include
sharing activities designed to involve airframe manufacturers, government regulators, or other
safety groups (although certain information from the sharing activities documented in this guide
may be shared with other groups, usually in a limited fashion). This guide is limited to systems
focused on organization-to-organization sharing, so it does not include systems where
individuals report safety issues (such as the Aviation Safety Reporting System--ASRS--to which
pilots, controllers, and others can report safety concerns) or systems that collect safety

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

information (such as databases of accident investigation boards or incident reporting programs


run by civil aviation authorities).1

1.5 Organization of this Guide


The remainder of the guide is organized into four sections (2.0 through 5.0) with one section for
each of the following areas: How Information Sharing Contributes to Flight Safety;
Considerations for Implementing Sharing Systems; Types of Sharing Systems; Summaries of the
Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems.
This guide also contains two appendices. Appendix A contains a feedback form and Appendix B
contains a list of acronyms used within this guide.

1.6 Guide Update and Feedback


WG C plans to update this guide periodically to include information on additional aviation safety
sharing systems. The WG encourages readers to provide feedback regarding their experience
with any of the sharing systems contained in the guide and to nominate others for possible
inclusion. Suggestions for improving the usefulness of this guide are also requested. A feedback
form for this purpose is included in Appendix A.

Another GAIN group, the GAIN Government Support Team, has documented a variety of government-operated
systems that collect safety information, in the report Updated List of Major Current or Planned Government
Aviation Safety Information Collection Programs, June 2003 (available at www.gainweb.org).

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

2.0 How Information Sharing Contributes to Airline Flight


Safety
The progressive improvement in airline flight safety that has taken place over the past decades
has resulted in a remarkably safe system, in which accidents or even major incidents occur very
rarely. However, this in turn poses a challenge to efforts within the airline industry to continue
to improve its safety record. Not only does new information from accidents and incidents
become available relatively infrequently, but as existing threats are addressed through industrywide efforts, there is a growing recognition of the need to also address emerging threats that may
not yet have resulted in accidents. Flight safety management is about identifying and managing
both existing and new threats, and the first requirement is to know which threats to address. The
necessity of learning from incidents with less serious consequences in order to make changes that
reduce the likelihood of more serious incidents or accidents is therefore becoming widely
recognized.
However, any one airline may not have enough experience from its own operations for a clear
pattern to emerge from its own incident reports, or may not yet have encountered any incidents
of a type that other airlines are beginning to experience. In some cases, such as introducing a
new aircraft type or serving a new destination, an airline will not yet have had the opportunity to
obtain information from its own operations. Therefore the importance of sharing information on
both incidents and the lessons learned from each airlines analysis of its own safety data is also
becoming more widely recognized. It is this recognition that motivates the efforts of the Global
Aviation Information Network to facilitate and promote the sharing of safety related information.

2.1 Benefits of Sharing Safety Information


The obvious, and important, benefit of sharing safety related information lies in reducing the risk
of an accident through more timely recognition of both existing and emerging threats, and ways
to address them. While accidents are fortunately very rare, when they do occur, they impose
enormous costs on the airlines involved, not to mention the often tragic consequences to the
passengers, airline personnel and third parties directly involved.
Specific ways in which sharing safety information can reduce the risk of an accident include:

Gathering additional information on types of event that an airline has not


experienced very often, to permit the identification of an emerging trend or to
assess the effectiveness of potential corrective actions;

Identifying other airlines that have experienced the same or similar problems
to facilitate obtaining information on the characteristics of those problems and
their experience with corrective actions;

Alerting other airlines to the occurrence of events that they may not have
experienced, or to the effectiveness of corrective actions that have been
implemented;

Gathering information on an operational area where an airline has limited or


no experience, such as the introduction of a new aircraft type or initiating
service to a new airport;

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Comparing the experience of an airlines own operations with that of other


airlines, such as the frequency of certain types of event or the severity of the
outcome of a specific type of incident.

Moreover, the wider dissemination of safety information also provides other, more immediate
and tangible, benefits to those airlines participating in sharing this information. Corrective
actions developed by other airlines might be less costly than those that might be tried in the
absence of this information. Reduction of maintenance failures, or the early recognition of
potential maintenance problems, can reduce flight delays and cancellations due to the need for
unscheduled maintenance, as well as avoid the much higher costs of resolving unexpected
problems in line operations. Sharing lessons learned from efforts to prevent accidents during
ramp operations can reduce a major source of operational expense.
Sharing information from air safety reports and flight data monitoring can help reduce aircraft
operating costs through improved flight operations that reduce the frequency of such events as
go-arounds and in-flight diversions. Reducing the occurrence of unstabilized approaches at
specific airports can contribute to reducing the incidence of such events as flap overspeed or hard
landings, with their consequent costs in inspection and maintenance.

2.2 Examples of the Contribution of Information Sharing to Flight Safety


The following examples illustrate the potential flight safety benefits that can result from sharing
information between operators. While they are only intended to be illustrative, and are not
claimed to be descriptions of real incidents or information sharing activities, they are based on
actual incidents that have occurred.
Example 1
A number of air safety reports at Airline A identified a problem at a specific airport with local air
traffic control procedures that resulted in a relatively high rate of unstabilized approaches. This
was confirmed by Airline As flight data monitoring program. Following discussions with the
local air traffic service provider, Airline A changed its company standard arrival procedures at
the airport, with a consequent reduction in the occurrence of unstabilized approaches. Airline A
distributed this information through a safety information sharing system in which it participated.
Two other airlines, which also operated into that airport but were unaware of the problem,
reviewed these findings with their pilots and decided to modify their own standard arrival
procedures to be consistent with those of Airline A.
Example 2
Airline B experienced the loss of an engine cowl on one of its aircraft during takeoff.
Investigation revealed the cause to be the failure of line maintenance personnel to properly
secure the cowl latches following routine engine maintenance, due in part to the lack of color
contrast between the latch recesses and the adjacent cowl livery. Airline B subsequently
modified the color of the latch recesses to facilitate visual recognition of incorrect latch
alignment, and amended its line maintenance procedure to include a cross-check of cowl latch
security. It also posted an incident report on a safety information sharing system in which it
participated and notified other operators of the same equipment participating in the safety
information sharing system. Several of these operators subsequently modified their line
maintenance procedures and some also modified the latch recess color scheme.

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Example 3
In the course of a routine inspection, Airline C discovered a cracked engine mounting bolt that
could have led to an overstress of the engine mounting and an in-flight loss of the engine. A
check of incident reports on a safety information sharing system in which the airline participated
revealed that two other operators had experienced the same problem and had concluded that the
procedure for engine removal and replacement had the potential to overstress the mounting bolt
if the engine was misaligned during replacement. These airlines had devised and adopted a
different procedure for engine removal and replacement that avoided the potential problem.
Airline C then adopted the new procedure and notified other operators of the same equipment
participating in the safety information sharing system of the potential problem.

2.3 Role of Information Sharing Systems


The benefits derived from sharing safety information depend on the nature of the information
that is shared. To be useful, it is necessary for an airline to be able to tell whether the
circumstances that generated the information being shared are relevant to its operations. It is
also desirable that the information being shared has been refined to avoid the need to synthesize
a large number of reports from many sources. For information sharing to be worthwhile, there
needs to be a balance between the work involved and the value of the information. The
development of information sharing systems has simplified the process of sharing information
and allowed users to be much more selective. This has a number of benefits for the flight safety
management process itself:

It can save staff time by reducing the need to make separate individual
enquiries to gather information;

It eliminates the element of chance in sharing information through ad-hoc


networking;

It can save time when good corrective actions have been identified by others
who have experienced similar problems.

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3.0 Considerations for Implementing a Sharing System


There are several considerations when implementing a safety sharing system within an
organization. Such considerations include data quality, information protection, data integration,
and information collection and information distribution. In the following sections, these five
considerations are discussed in more detail.

3.1 Data Quality


One consideration for implementing a sharing system is understanding the various approaches to
how the quality of the shared data is assessed. Typically, sharing systems integrate data from a
wide variety of independent flight safety event reporting systems, all with varying levels of data
quality. This is not to imply that one airline has better quality data than the other, but rather to
develop an understanding that many airlines have different approaches to documenting a similar
incident within their organization. Because of these differences, it is important for members of a
sharing community to have a clear understanding as to how these differences are identified,
assessed and compensated for.
Typically, each airline safety event reporting system was developed for specific users who share
a common safety culture, a common language, a common set of standard operating procedures
and similar reporting requirements for an incident. Because these commonalities are generally
understood within an individual airline, it is deemed unnecessary to document them. However, a
sharing system community is a disparate group that has no shared understanding of quality issues
associated with each of the sets of data being shared. As a result, it is somewhat difficult for a
sharing system to provide its users with data of known quality. To meet this challenge, some
sharing systems may adopt a data quality assessment approach that provides a framework for
assessing the quality of the data and conveying the findings of the assessment to its users. Such
characteristics include:

Completeness Data fields with values filled. Missing data can significantly diminish the
analytical value of the data;
Consistency The manor in which information is recorded by and among respondents. A
technical approach to determine consistency is to develop filters that assess the degree to
which information is consistently reported;
Validity The degree to which field values adhere to the code tables or range constraints
associated with a particular data element. The validity of data is determined by filters that
validate ranges, codes and data types;
Accuracy The value in a particular data field is correct. This can be determined through the
application of rules that can predict the value of one filed by considering the contents of other
fields.

3.2 Information Protection


Preventing unauthorized access to or use of sensitive data is paramount to an organization.
Therefore before agreeing to use a sharing system, an airline must be satisfied that the methods
for protecting sensitive information have been well addressed. Some information protection
methods include the de-identification of shared data, Memoranda of Understanding, limiting the

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

amount of data shared and de-centralization of the data. Other methods for protecting
information include system security techniques such as password management, firewalls,
encryption, and database access controls. Of these methods, any combination may be used to
protect the information shared within the system.
The most common of the aforementioned methods is the de-identification of data before it is
integrated into a sharing system. The process involves identifying revealing information and
removing it before the data is shared. This may be done either manually or through automation.
Information such as gate numbers, city pairs, crew names and airline flight numbers may all be
removed before sharing. An event date may also be de-identified, setting the date to the first of
the month. Lastly, another approach to de-identification includes limiting the number of records
and fields that are shared, availing only a subset of data for use within the system.
Another common approach to protecting shared information is for members to enter into an
agreement or understanding with other members of the sharing community. These agreements
specify the type of data to be shared, who may use the data and for what purpose. Most of these
agreements come in the form of Memoranda of Understandings, Non-Disclosure Agreements as
well as Bailee Agreements. In some cases, simply accepting a license agreement while installing
the sharing software binds a member to a code of conduct, a set of rules to abide by while using
the system. A breech or default in any of these forms of agreements typically leads to expulsion
from the system.
An emerging form of information protection is the de-centralization of the shared data. This
approach allows the data to remain on-site so that the data owner maintains control of the
information. Using a data map, members map shared fields within their flight safety event
management systems to a virtual repository via the Internet. Using administrative features, a
data owner has the ability to modify access rights by user, developing a set of trusted peers or
trusted peer groups. Furthermore, using these administrative tools, a data owner has the ability
to limit access to lesser-known entities to less sensitive fields and records.
System security is yet another consideration with respect to information protection. Requiring
password and identification credentials assists in limiting unauthorized access to the system. Use
of encryption software to transmit data provides a high-level of protection and is easily
implemented. Sharing systems that use the Internet may use two severs as opposed to one,
separating the application software form the sharing database and placing an additional firewall
between the two. Data within a database may also be encrypted, thus adding yet an additional
layer of protection. Lastly, system maintenance also plays a role in system security, including
the proper implementation of operating system and application patches.

3.3 Data Integration


When considering sharing information among a multitude of dissimilar data sources, several
methods and techniques should be considered when integrating heterogeneous flight safety event
reporting systems. A wide range of information cannot be found in any single unified
information source, and therefore the information must be actively collected and assembled in a
manner that supports the needs of the sharing participants. These needs may include the ability
to research a suspected safety hazard, post a lesson learned, learn more about a corrective action,
perform analysis and/or identify trends.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

The first step in integrating dissimilar data into a sharing system involves identifying data fields
that are common among the different flight safety event reporting systems. Once the common
fields are identified, the fields are reviewed for relevancy, based on the information needs of the
user. Such relevant fields may include make/model, airport name, phase of flight or type of
event. Once the relevant fields are established, a map is generated mapping the common fields
among the dissimilar data sources to create a virtual subset of data. Once the information is
mapped, the next step is to organize the data within a mapped data framework so that users of the
sharing system can conveniently manipulate the information. This process typically involves
converting the data from dissimilar data systems into a common standardized format.

3.4 Information Collection


Another consideration when implementing a sharing system is to examine the various
approaches to collecting the data to be shared within the system. One approach uses on-line
discussion forums or electronic bulletin board systems. Here, a member of a sharing system may
share important safety information by posting it on a discussion board or on-line forum. A more
complex approach to collecting information requires the periodic extraction of data from
multiple, disparate flight safety event management systems and merging the data into a central
repository. Members of these types of sharing systems typically export a subset of data from
their individual flight safety event management system, de-identify it and submit it for use within
the sharing system. Lastly, an uncommon but emerging approach includes the use of the Internet
to network several airline flight safety event management systems by mapping individual data
fields within each airlines event management system to a virtual repository that is available to
all members.

3.5 Information Distribution


One last consideration when implementing a sharing system is to understand the various methods
used to distribute the shared information. Such methods include magnetic media, the Internet
and written publications. Systems that use a de-centralized data approach for sharing
information utilize the Internet to connect members to one anothers data. Some systems
periodically merge de-identified data from multiple airlines and distribute it to members for
individual analysis. This merged data is typically placed on CD-ROM and sent to all members
who contributed. Furthermore, some sharing systems not only collect and merge the data but
also perform an analysis on the merged dataset and distribute a periodic report with the findings.
Such reports may be distributed as a hard-copy publication or as a document on a CD-ROM.
Lastly, some sharing systems utilize electronic bulletin boards to distribute information.
Members of this type of sharing system gain accesses to the data by reading posts to specific
topics found within the bulletin board discussions. In just about all cases, each of the
information sharing systems discussed in the Section 4.0, Types of Sharing Systems, utilize
various combinations of the three distribution methods discussed above.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

4.0 Types of Sharing Systems


The sharing systems described in this guide are classified into three basic types of systems: NearReal Time Event Sharing Systems; Periodic Aggregation and Analysis Systems; Lessons
Learned and Corrective Action Systems. Each type represents a unique method for sharing
aviation safety incident and event information with other airlines. Some systems offer analysis of
merged data while other systems provide a means to query another airlines safety data directly.
Moreover, some systems have characteristics that span all three types thus forming a hybrid. For
the purpose of this guide, each of the nine systems discussed in Section 4.0, Summaries of
Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems, has been assigned to one of the three
types that most closely matched its characteristics.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

4.1 Near-Real Time Airline Safety Event Sharing Systems


A near-real time airline safety event sharing system (NRT system) provides a means to transfer
safety information, at any time, from anyplace, over the Internet. System participants can send
information they believe would be of interest to other participants and can query the safety event
databases of other airlines participating in the system, if such rights are granted. Information is
not aggregated in bulk but only in response to particular queries, so there is no central
repository of information.
Information shared in NRT systems represents the latest information contained in airlines
internal database. NRT systems are not considered real time because there will be a lag
between the time of the event and the time information on the event has been collected by the
airline safety office, entered into their safety database, and cleared for use in the sharing
program.
NRT systems utilize highly secure transmissions to protect the information. Existing NRT
systems utilize a brief report format with limited fields of standardized information designed to
convey the possible relevance of a particular issue at a glance. These systems provide a
participant the opportunity to follow-up with the source of a particular report to gather further
information, if the source agrees. De-identification of source data is used in some NRT system,
while others provide the option to participate with other closely trusted partners--usually safety
officers who know each other personally and trust each other to protect the shared information.
Figure 1 provides an illustration of four airlines within a trusted group sharing information with
one another. Some airlines employ Memoranda of Understanding, which clearly state the
purpose and use for any data obtained within the system. Near-real time systems generally
interface with multiple types of flight safety event reporting systems, sharing information via a
near-real time broker that transmits information between participating airlines, but does not store
any information.

Airline A
MS Access

Near-Real Time
Broker
(24/7)

Airline C
AvSiS

Airline B
BASIS

Airline D
AQD

Figure 1 -Near-Real Time Airline Event Sharing System Functional Diagram


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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

4.2 Periodic Aggregation and Analysis Systems


Periodic aggregation and analysis systems provide a means for collecting de-identified,
standardized safety event records from multiple airlines, merging the data into one dataset and
re-distributing the data to original contributors for individual analysis. In some cases, analysis
services are provided and a periodic analysis report is published, identifying industry trends as a
whole. In most cases, the analysis report is distributed to all contributing members thus
alleviating, for each flight safety office, the need to perform industry analysis and allowing it to
focus on independent trend analysis such as comparing its own experience with the industry as a
whole. In order to perform an individual analysis, an airline will have the ability to identify its
own records among the merged dataset but will not be able to identify other contributing member
event records, protecting the anonymity of all parties involved.
Figure 2 illustrates a sharing system in which three airlines with three different types of event
management systems, send standardized, de-identified data to a central, trusted location where
the data is merged into one dataset. Once the data is merged, it is redistributed to all three
airlines for individual analysis. The merged dataset is also analyzed; identifying any emerging
industry trends which are documented in a periodic report and distributed to all three
contributing members.

Distribute De-identified,
Standardized
Merged Data to Members

Periodic
Analysis Report

Airline X
BASIS

Airline Y
AvSiS

Airline Z
Other

De-identified,
Standardized Data

De-identified.
Standardized
Merged Dataset

Distribute Periodic
Analysis to Members

Figure 2-Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System Functional Diagram

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

4.3

Lessons Learned and Corrective Action Systems

A lessons learned and corrective action system provides an airline the ability to share knowledge
gained from addressing potential safety hazards and to learn from the experiences of others. A
lesson learned is envisioned as a higher-level finding that is derived from event reports or
other information that is not event-related, such as quality deficiencies (maintenance issues) or
general corporate knowledge about a particular issue, system, airport, etc. The lesson might be
learned through the analysis of several incident reports from within an airline or from incidents
shared by other airlines (such as the work being done by STEADES). Corrective actions, are
the fixes applied by airlines to address the safety concern, once the lesson had been identified.
Lessons learned systems also provide a means for airlines to publish their own experiences of
safety hazards for others to learn from. Airlines may also share their risk reduction and
mitigation strategies for a specific safety hazard through this type of system.
Information within a lessons learned system does not necessarily originate from an airline. Some
lessons learned systems import data from multiple existing sources, standardizing/coding the
event by subject and placing it in a comprehensive repository. Such data sources may include
military/airline safety journals, government sponsored anonymous reporting systems, safety
recommendations, as well as government advisories and directives.
It is not uncommon for a lessons learned system to be self-monitored although there are systems
where the content is validated before it is posted or placed in a searchable repository. Typically
a user has the option to search or post information anonymously. Self-administered systems are
designed to be an easy and informal way to share safety information, post questions and seek out
answers, comparable to the concept of a virtual water cooler or electronic bulletin board.
Figure 3 illustrates three airlines all belonging to a lessons learned and corrective action sharing
community. Here, any three of the airlines may log into the system independently and
anonymously search for or post a safety lesson learned and/or corrective action. An airline may
also post information within any of the discussion groups or search the repository for a relevant
subject.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Airline X

User Log-in via Internet

Airline Y

Discussion Groups
(post/reply)

De-identified
Lessons Learned
Repository
(Search/Post)

Airline Z

Figure 3 -Lessons Learned and Corrective Action System

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THIS PAGE LEFT BLANK

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

5.0 Summaries for Automated Airline Safety Information


Sharing Systems
In the following sections, nine sharing systems are featured, providing the reader with an
overview of airline information sharing systems that are currently in use around the world. WG
C solicited information from each of the sharing system administrators, requesting them to
provide a summary for their system. For each of the nine systems, the summary may include the
purpose of the system, sharing system participants, security features, type of data shared, method
for sharing the information, the operational approach of the system and technology used to share
information.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

5.1

Air Transportation Association Aviation Safety Exchange System


(AASES)

AASES is an automated database of merged, de-identified incident data from member airlines. It
examines data by aircraft type, incident category, incident type, location and frequency. Bar
graphs and scatter diagrams are used to identify patterns and trends in the merged data that may
not be evident from examining a single carriers operations.
Type of Sharing System
q

Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System


Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Membership is limited to ATA members who choose to participate.

Type of Data Shared/Source of Data


Participants share data, at the record level, by periodically submitting a comma separated value
file (CSV) via CD-ROM. The CSV is generated using local extraction routines that extract
several common data elements from each participants safety reporting system. The local
routines de-identify and standardize the data, preparing it for amalgamation into the central
AASES repository.

How is Information Used/Intent of Program


AASES performs a data refresh once every quarter, maintaining a rolling twenty-four month
snapshot of amalgamated incident data. The merged data is used by ATA councils, committees
and staff to identify trends and analyze areas of mutual needs. The merged data is also provided
to the participating carriers for analysis of their individual areas of interest. Exposure data is also
gathered, permitting the calculation of event rates such as rejected take-offs per total take-offs
(individual airline rate versus industry rate). Each airline may compare its experience with the
rest of the industry or look at historical patterns. The data can be used to support the integration
of a new aircraft type (what other issues other airlines have had with a particular model), an
airport/facility opening (what problems may occur at this location), or a new airport being
served.
Security Features
Participants may elect to remove an entire record from the AASES extraction. Other security
features include the de-identification of incident data before it is submitted to ATA to be merged.
Direct and indirect references to the source airline and other airlines that may have been involved
in the incident are de-identified by the process. Airline names, three-letter codes, flight numbers,
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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Air Transportation Association Aviation Safety Exchange System (AASES)


(continued)

gate numbers and other identifying information are detected by the automated process and
translated into generic terms.
De-identification Process and Approach
Before the data is transmitted to ATA for amalgamation, data is de-identified at each members
physical location. Using local META data repositories, local routines sanitize the data to remove
names, flight numbers, gates and three letter designator codes.
Once the data is merged into a comprehensive dataset, only the record owner will have the
ability to re-identify its own records.
Sharing System Technology Used
In order to minimize member software expenditures, AASES utilizes Microsoft Office and
Internet Explorer/Netscape. Using Java 1.2 and JDBC, the data is extracted from the members
safety reporting system, placed into a comma separated value (CSV) file and sent via CD ROM
to ATA Headquarters where it is merged into a master AASES database (MS Access). Once the
data has been merged and cleansed, it is redistributed via CD-ROM to all members for analysis
(MS Excel). Reports are created using XML and XSLT. Lastly, AASES has built-in help
features and uses InstallShield for easy installation.
Operational Approach
Participating airlines send de-identified, standardized datasets to ATA Headquarters to be
merged with other participating airline datasets. The merged dataset is then distributed to
participating members to use for analysis and benchmarking. The merged data set is
accompanied with exposure data. ATA council and staff may also use the data to perform
analysis.
Standardization/Consistency of Data
At the time of development, standards were adopted that were unique to the AASES users group.
International standards may be considered for later releases, once the standards are agreed upon.
Level of Maturity /Status/Version
Currently AASES has a beta version. A newer version is currently being developed.
Future Plans for the Program
Future plans the expansion of AASES membership to all ATA members.

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Air Transportation Association Aviation Safety Exchange System (AASES)


(continued)

Point of Contact
Thomas Farrier
Air Transport Association of America
Director of Safety Programs
Tel: +1.202.626.4116
Fax: +1.202.626.4149
tfarrier@airlines.org
http://www.airlines.org/

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

5.2

Aviation Safety Information Network (ASI-NET)

In late 1999 ASI-NET in Japan started its operation to exchange confidential safety information
among Japanese airlines. The server for ASI-NET is located at the Association of Air Transport
Engineering and Research (ATEC) and connected to each airline's client computer by public
telephone line. Each participating airline sends its report using Lotus Notes (after deidentification) to the server. Then, each participating airline can read the report. The ASI-NET
Committee will analyze the information to identify safety concerns and suggest/promote
corrective actions. In addition to confidential safety reports, the system contains some other
reports for the convenience of member airlines such as information on Irregular Operations in
Japan published by JCAB.
Type of Sharing System
q

Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System


Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Seventeen airlines participate in four different groups, the JAL group (6 airlines), the ANA group
(3 airlines), the JAS group (2 airlines) and an Independent group (6 airlines). Airlines within a
group have already shared information. Through the use of ASI-NET airlines can now reach the
other groups information.
Type of Data Shared/Source of Data
Information accessible through ASI-NET comes from several sources. Flight crews voluntarily
share safety information and captains submit human factors information through a Captain
report. 234 reports have been submitted since 2000, 81 Voluntary safety reports and 153 Captain
reports. The JCAB submits information on Irregular Operations, 426 reports have been submitted
since 1999, and ICAO provides ADREP information, approximately 7300 since 1974.
How is Information Used/Intent of Program
The object of ASI-NET is to contribute to flight safety by sharing safety information among
member organizations, and making safety recommendations based on the findings from collected
information, to the parties concerned.
Security Features
Access to the system is password protected, with each user having their own identification and
password. The information within the system is protected by confidentiality of information,
through non-punitive policy at each of the airlines and through non-accessibility by the aviation
authorities.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Aviation Safety Information Network (ASI-NET)


(continued)

Operational Approach
ASI-NET is guided by a steering committee that meets twice annually. The purpose of the
steering committee is to manage ASI-NET and to approve any formulated safety
recommendations. Members of the steering committee include a former chairman of the Aircraft
Accident Investigation Committee (AAIC), aeronautical specialists, and representatives from
major airlines.
Working Groups within ASI-NET are to carry out plans developed by the steering committee.
The working groups meet quarterly. Group tasks include generating summary reports using the
network information as well as analyze the information and formulate safety recommendations.
Approved safety recommendations are distributed to all concerned parties, including airline
safety personnel and pilots.
Standardization/Consistency of Data
Three groups of terms are standardized in ASI-NET: human related, aircraft/system related and
event related. The terminology is standardized to enhance confidentiality and to facilitate
information reference.
Level of Maturity /Status/Version
ASI-NET was established in December of 1999 and continues to expand and seek new members.
Future Plans for Program
In the future, ASI-NET would like to expand the base of reporters, would like to provide
institutional immunity protection, and increase publicity and feedback of the system.
Point of Contact
Shozo Hirose
General Manager/Engineer
Association of Air Transport Engineering & Research, Japan
Atec00@jb3.so-net.ne.jp
+81-3-5476-5461

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

5.3

Aviation Safety Data Sharing System (ASDSS)

ASDSS is a readily accessible web-based solution, which allows safety officers to query data
from disparate safety databases (BASIS, AQD, Access, etc.) of several participating airlines
simultaneously. The data is presented in the form of Standard Sharing Reports (SSRs) via an
automatic extraction from the internal safety database. The unknown originator of the SSR may
then be contacted for further details.
Type of Sharing System
Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System
q

Near-Real Time Event Sharing System


Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Currently Air New Zealand is the only participant in this system. Canada 3000 was an initial
participant but is no longer operating.
Type of Data Shared/ Source of Data
Reports are shared amongst the participants through the ASDSS system, which consolidates, in a
proxy server, the data from the participants. Each report contains the Date, Aircraft make, model
and series, Event Category, ATA Code(s), Phase of Flight, Airport or Route, Weather
Conditions, Event Category, Probable Cause and Corrective Action.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
The system is used to inform peer organizations of problems / issues. The system is used to see if
other organizations have had a similar event before (and learn from their experience). The
system may be used for building a case by supplementing an airlines own data with that from
other organizations.
Security Features
The user controls access to their data at field, record and system user levels. Users log in. Data is
sent as an encrypted package to other users (128 bit encryption system of public / private keys).
De-identification Process/Approach
Users may send information anonymously. Data may be further de-identified by substituting
keywords.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Aviation Safety Data sharing System (ASDSS)


(continued)

Sharing System Technology Used


Internet based system accessed through a 128-bit Web Browser.
Operational Approach
Records are shared (e.g. A Basis SIE export, an SQL extract) using ASDSS. Using a Web
Browser, users log in to the system, execute a search and browse the results. A blind email may
be sent to the originator of the report for more information.
Standardization/Consistency of Data
Mapping based on the GAIN Standard Sharing Report (SSR) format.
Level of Maturity
Released and used by two airlines in 2001.
Future Plans for Program
Future plans include expanding participation to other airlines worldwide.
Points of Contact
Howard Posluns
Transport Canada
Transportation Development Centre
Montral, Qubec, Canada
+1 (514) 283-0034
poslunh@tc.gc.ca
Robert Aub
xwave
Stittsville, Ontario, Canada
+1 (613) 831-0888
robert.aube@xwave.com

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

5.4

AvShare

AvSoft, Ltd. designed this highly secure near-real time message based safety information sharing
system, which enables safety officers to set up trusted groups via the Internet. These registered
users may then be grouped to reflect a wide variety of categories including alliance partners,
flight safety officers peers, sister companies, or remote stations. User share encrypted Standard
Sharing Reports (SSRs) and other pertinent information including images.
Type of Sharing System
Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System
q

Near-Real Time Event Sharing System


Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Current participants: Aer Lingus, Finnair, Channel Express, BMI Regional. Three more airlines
expected to participate during 2003.
Type of Data Shared / Source of Data
Data may be sent to or requested from other airline(s). Data is shared at the event/record level.
The selection of fields to be shared between two users is not limited by AvShare but may be
limited by the users. AVSiS users have the option of sharing all fields. Non-AVSiS users map
common data fields, such as make/model or event type, to participate in the system.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
The system is used to inform peer organizations of problems / issues. The system is used to see if
other organizations have experienced similar events and learn from their experience. The system
may be used for building a case by supplementing an airlines own data with that from other
organizations.
Security Features
The users control who may see what of their data at field and record level. Users log in. Data is
sent as an encrypted package to other users (128 bit encryption system of public / private keys).
Data is not on a website and is not centralized.
De-identification Process / Approach
Users may send information anonymously. Data is not de-identified.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

AvShare
(continued)

Sharing System Technology Used


Multi-tiered client-server application
Operational Approach
Users form trusted groups with whom to share confidential information peer to peer.
Standardization / Consistency of Data
Mapping based on AVSiS and the GAIN Standard Sharing Report (SSR)
Level of Maturity
Release of version 2.0 on January 2003
Future Plans for Program
Grow user base. Enhance application with further releases based on user requirements.
Point of Contact
Tim Fuller
AvSoft
Tel: +44 1788 540 898 or US toll free 1-866 348 4503
http://www.avsoft.co.uk

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5.5

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Safety


Information Exchange (SIE)

The Safety Information Exchange was originally operated by British Airways as a method for
airlines using the British Airways Safety Information System (BASIS) to share operational data
on safety events. SIE grew to the point where BA believed it would be better hosted at a neutral
organization, rather than at a commercial airline. IATA has since taken over running the SIE,
using it as a conduit to collect data for its STEADES programme. British Airways continues to
support the software.
Type of Sharing System
q

Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System


Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Participants of the IATA SIE programme are confidential to IATA
Type of Data Shared / Source of Data
Users of Air Safety Reporting (ASR) produce the BASIS extract and send their data quarterly to
IATA. The data is de-identified at source and merged into one global database which is then
distributed to those users who have contributed data. The merged SIE database is sent out every
quarter and contains incidents occurring during the preceding 12 months. This service was
originally supported by the BASIS Team when it was known as BASIS-SIE but is now provided
by IATA under the auspices of the STEADES Project.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
This is a pro-active method of reviewing past air safety incidents, before they happen again.
Even if an airline has already experienced the same problem, the SIE database is a powerful
source of information when trying to convince others that an airlines incident is not an isolated
case. Also, such an enormous database allows small fleet operators access to safety information
from a much larger fleet database.
Security Features
No security information provided about security.
De-identification Process / Approach
Data is de-identified at the airline source then the extraction routine is performed.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Safety Information Exchange (SIE)


(continued)

Sharing System Technology Used


WinBASIS is used to enter data to send to IATA via its built-in SIE export function.
Operational Approach
Users extract and send their data quarterly to IATA, which in turn de-identifies, merges and
distributes a consolidated data file to members of SIE.
Standardization / Consistency of Data
Data submitted to IATA varies widely by the source and depends on the stage of the
investigation (if any), the details available, the reporting culture of the operator, and how the
incident was classified.
Level of Maturity / Version
See the description of STEADES for further information on the future of this program.
Future Plans for Program
SIE is only being offered to current users, no new members are being accepted into the program.
Points of Contact
IATA SIE:
John Denman, IATA
Telephone +1 (514) 874-0202 ext. 3203
E-mail: denmanj@iata.org
http://www.iata.org/oi/safety/steades
BASIS Software:
Eddie Rogan, British Airways
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8513 0225
E-mail: eddie.1.rogan@britishairways.com
http://www.winbasis.com/

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5.6

International Air Transport Association Safety Trend Evaluation


and Data Exchange System (STEADES)

STEADES is a global incident sharing system that consolidates inputs from multiple airlines, and
then analyzes the resulting data for useful and/or significant trends and findings. Reports are
distributed to members on a regular basis. The ten airline safety officers comprise the STEADES
Steering Group and provide guidance on subjects that are of particular interest and should be
looked at in greater detail in the reports.
Type of Sharing System
q

Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System


Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Currently there are a number of participants including major international air carriers, smaller
local operators, manufacturers, research organizations, and other associations. Helicopter
operators also participate.
Type of Data Shared / Source of Data
The database will consist initially of de-identified data from approximately 40 airlines (generally
of the order of 50,000 records per quarter). The data shared is at the event/record level. This
amount of data will cover approximately 95% of all international commercial air traffic and a
very substantial amount of domestic traffic.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
STEADES is a global safety event database providing analysis of events, with the goal of
reducing accident potential and, therefore, costs. It is based on an open, non-punitive, reporting
system which is compatible with other reporting systems. It identifies trends and areas of
potential concern (e.g., in fleets, areas, operations), thereby giving IATA and the airlines an
overview of industry performance and standards. It will also contribute to risk assessment.
Security Features
The STEADES database is securely hosted on the IATA premises. No external party has direct
access to it.
De-identification Process / Approach
Data is de-identified at the airline source then the extraction routine is performed.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

International Air Transport Association Safety Trend Evaluation and Data Exchange System (STEADES)
(continued)

Sharing System Technology Used


No proprietary software is required for membership in STEADES. Airlines and agencies that do
not have a computerized event recording system can be provided custom software at a nominal
cost.
Operational Approach
On a quarterly basis, STEADES members will forward a file of their air safety events to IATA,
using the specifically developed exchange model. This information will be collated with data
from all other participating airlines and analyzed for trends and issues of concern. Trend Reports
will be generated and distributed to members following the analysis process. Reports are
published quarterly and are available to members in hardcopy and CD-ROM versions.
STEADES data is analyzed by a neutral, impartial and respected industry body, which is not
connected with any airline, manufacturer or regulatory bodies.
Standardization / Consistency of Data
Data consistency varies by source in its detail, however the STEADES team constantly monitors
the data for any inconsistencies and effect immediate repairs, ensure maximum data quality.
Level of Maturity / Version
STEADES was launched in October of 2001, and has since attracted operators, aviation
associations, and other agencies into its membership. The first STEADES report was issued in
2002, with the second report due in May 2003. The frequency of the reports will increase
quickly, since the STEADES programme has been developing its analysis methodology to
maturity over the last two reports.
Future Plans for Program
STEADES is a step beyond the BASIS Safety Information Exchange (SIE) Scheme, in that it
includes analysis to identify trends and other conclusions, which is not done with BASIS SIE.
Plans include an interface with other safety initiatives, such as IOSA, LOSA, and FOQA (Flight
Data Monitoring). This program is expected to expand to include approximately 250 airlines
over the next four years. In the longer term, IATA envisages expansion of STEADES to interact
with other systems and become a one-stop safety information shop.
Point of Contact
John Denman, IATA
Telephone +1 (514) 874-0202 ext. 3203
E-mail: denmanj@iata.org
http://www.iata.org/oi/safety/steades

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5.7

International Air Transport Association - Safety With Answers


Provided (SWAP)

IATA SWAP is a lessons learned system with two components, a web-based discussion board
and a safety information archive. The web-based discussion board is an electronic repository
where members can freely and openly post questions or findings about aviation safety, and then
read responses and other comments from fellow safety professionals. The safety information
archive contains important safety bulletins and messages that operators should be aware of.
Type of Sharing System
Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System
Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
q

Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Open to flight safety officers of all IATA member airlines, partnership programme members, and
industry associates.
Type of Data Shared / Source of Data
A free and voluntary exchange of safety information regarding operational safety issues shared
by the members of IATA through a web-based information exchange discussion group. SWAP
is moderated by the users of the system, not by IATA.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
SWAP offers Safety Departments of airlines the opportunity to ask airside, cabin safety or
operational questions towards other departments much like themselves. The discussion groups
available on the site are divided into 3 main categories; Airside Safety, Cabin Safety and
Operational Safety.
Security Features
The access to the private pages of this site, including the discussion groups, is limited to safety
professionals of IATA Member Airlines, Partnership Programme Members, Members of the
IATA Ground Handling Council, and Members of IATA's safety related committees, working
groups, and task forces. Each person granted access to the site has access to all the discussion
groups including Cabin, Operational and Airside Safety.
De-identification Process / Approach
Information on the site is not de-identified, however users may choose to post anonymously.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

International Air Transport Association - Safety With Answers Provided (SWAP)


(continued)

Sharing System Technology Used


Participation through on-line registration and collaboration software via the International Air
Transport Association web-site.
Operational Approach
Records are entered and shared using SWAP. Using a Web Browser, users log into the system,
execute a search query and browse the results.
Standardization / Consistency of Data
Data comes from a variety of sources, and is usually of excellent quality.
Level of Maturity / Version
The SWAP site is currently in its second version, after having been originally ported to the new
web platform in 2001. The site was re-designed in 2002, and further changes will be made as
needed.
Future Plans for Program
SWAP will eventually become fully integrated with STEADES, and the membership will be
expanded to include STEADES members as well. The format of the site will continue as-is.
Points of Contact
Jill Sladen, IATA
Tel: +1 (514) 874-0202 ext. 3585
E-mail: sladenj@iata.org
http://www.iata.org/soi/safety/swap/index

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

5.8

Italian Flight Safety Committee (IFSC) Incident Sharing System

In 2001 IFSC began a program to collect standardized incident information from its member
airlines in Italy. Fourteen to sixteen airlines are expected to participate by logging their incident
reports using BASIS and submitting the de-identified reports electronically to the IFSC. These
reports will be collated and sent back to the participating airlines. In addition, the IFSC will
analyze the information at a national level to identify safety concerns and suggest/promote
corrective actions.
Type of sharing system
q

Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System


Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
The data sharing is only allowed to IFSC members.
Type of Data Shared / Source of Data
Participants share data, at the record level, by periodically exporting their data into a compressed
file that will be sent to the IFSC. Members that use BASIS export their information into a
WinZip file. Non-BASIS users export their information into a MS Excel file. IFSC members
share only the Mandatory Report fields (see JAR-OPS1 1.420 Occurrence reporting). All IFSC
members have agreed as to what information is to be shared, guaranteeing the de-identification
of the data without limiting analysis and trending efforts. The standardization and amalgamation
is managed by a working-group who has the task of validating the each event classification and
risk assessment.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
IFSC members can perform trending by using tools found on the IFSC website. This feature is
available to IFSC members only. Every six months these trends are reported on in a meeting.
Using the trends, areas of mutual interest are identified and discussed.
Security Features
Every member is responsible for the security of its own data, while the IFSC is responsible for
the data within the IFSC database. Security is guaranteed by using several security features of
various application and database administration programs.

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Italian Flight Safety Committee (IFSC) Incident Sharing System


(continued)

De-identification Process / Approach


Before the data is transmitted to the IFSC, the data is de-identified at each members physical
location. The information shared information includes:

STATUS (Status of the event)


DEPART/DESTINATION/LOCATION/DIVERSION (Flight data)
FLIGHT PHASE
EVENT TITLE/SUMMARY (Event description)
RISKID/RISK (Risk assessment)
MAJCAT1, 7/CE1, 7/BASISID1, 7/KWDA1, 7/KWDB1, 7 (Event classifications)

Sharing System Technology Used


The IFSC database is a BASIS repository. Members that use BASIS export their data using a
built-in export feature. For non-BASIS users, the data is exported to MS Excel and subsequently
converted to a format that is compatible with BASIS. The exported files are sent by email
(Microsoft Outlook). Once the exported files are received at the IFSC, they are imported into the
IFSC BASIS database. The IFSC database operator notifies contributing member that their
export was received and that their information imported successfully.
Operational Approach
See How the information is used/Intent of program
Standardization / Consistency of Data
Standardization and consistency of the data is managed by a working-group who has the task of
validating every event classification and risk assessment.
Level of Maturity / Version
BASIS/ASR version is 2.12.
Future Plans for Program
IFSC is planning to expand to Ground and Maintenance operators as well as develop a specific
database that harmonizes reporting in terms of taxonomy and risk matrix.
Point of Contact
Captain Silvano Manera, Alitalia
Tel: +39 (0)6 6563 8352 or 8351
E-mail: manera.silvano@alitalia.it

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5.9

Maintenance Malfunction Information Report (MMIR) System

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Helicopter Association International (HAI)
have joined forces to provide the aviation industry with the Maintenance Malfunction
Information Report (MMIR) system. The MMIR program is today's solution to the time
consuming process of hand writing numerous FAA and warranty claim forms. MMIR fulfills
FAA Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR) requirements and creates manufacturer warranty claim
forms. FAA/HAI designed the system to meet the requirements of FARs 145.63, 121.313, and
135.415 when incorporated into approved maintenance and operational programs. Also, MMIR
is a standard format accepted by most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their
warranty service systems. The main thrusts of the MMIR program are to enhance aviation safety
and to reduce operating costs. Using MMIR, early identification of potentially fatal failures has
provided overwhelming positive benefits to the aviation industry. The MMIR program can
provide the aviation industry with much needed data that would otherwise be unavailable,
enhancing aviation safety while reducing costs.
Type of Sharing System
q

Periodic Aggregation and Analysis System


Near-Real Time Event Sharing System
Lessons Learned and Corrective Actions System

Participants
Paticipants include hundreds of helicopter manufactures, repair-stations and operators. The
MMIR Software is available free of charge to anyone involved in the aviation industry, however,
it does require that you register to be come a member.
Type of Data Shared / Source of Data
MMIR is a comprehensive database representing the most up-to-date maintenance information.
The MMIR data format has created a standard for reporting service difficulties and warranty
claims. The MMIR program is based on the full page, four copy, and self-carbonizing MMIR
form introduced in the 1980s. By utilizing MMIR, maintenance departments have permanent
records in a database that can be manipulated to provide specific cost and reliability information.
MMIR makes use of default data fields, extensive pull-down menus, and automatic data filing
via the Internet. The data is collected at HAI and analysis reports are available for MMIR users.
How the Information is Used / Intent of Program
The MMIR program is today's solution to the time consuming process of hand writing numerous
FAA and warranty claim forms. MMIR fulfills FAA Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR)
requirements and creates manufacturer warranty claim forms. Users of the program will
recognize a savings in time, costs, and a vast reduction in paperwork.

37

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Maintenance Malfunction Information Report (MMIR) System


(continued)

Security Features
The MMIR program and database are maintained on separate servers. Records are secure, and
the user designates whether the reports are for internal use or sent to the FAA and/or the
manufacturer. Only users that participate in the exchange of MMIR data with HAI will be
allowed to access the database.
De-identification Process/Approach
There are three levels of user access to MMIR, each with different levels of authorization: Full,
Read-only, and Manufacturer. All three levels are allowed to read summary reports; these are
comprehensive (from the entire MMIR database) reports where all identification of the submitter
and aircraft registration has been deleted. This is also the sole level of authorization for Readonly subscribers. Full access subscribers can also submit reports, which are then stored on the
database server. The Full access subscriber can always review their reports in their entirety, but
only theirs. Manufacturer access is used to designate an electronic destination point for MMIRs
submitted as warranty claims. The complete report is automatically sent to the Manufacturer if
so designated by the Full access submitter.
Sharing System Technology Used
Using the COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) database development program FoxPro, HAI
developed a software version of the MMIR form during the mid-1990s. MMIR transitioned to a
Web-based system in 1999. HAI continues to support the software version of MMIR, but is
concentrating its efforts almost exclusively on Internet MMIR.
Operational Approach
MMIR is a Web-based application accessible from the MMIR website login page. MMIR users
can query the service to see if problems of a similar nature have been reported by other
operators, and the corrective actions taken. The MMIR service will not supply warranty
information unless members have stated, in writing, that they have no objections to the release of
this information.
Standardization / Consistency of Data
MMIR is a standard format accepted by most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and
their warranty service systems. For SDRs and MISs, MMIR transfers the data seamlessly to the
FAAs respective databases.

38

GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

Maintenance Malfunction Information Report (MMIR) System


(continued)

Level of maturity /Status/Version


MMIR began as a 4-copy carbon paper form to file warranty claims and U.S. Service Difficulty
Reporting System (SDRS) in 1984. During the mid-1990s, a software version of MMIR was
created using commercial off-the-shelf software. In 1999, MMIR transitioned to a Web-based
program. Only a computer with an Internet connection is needed to use MMIR; no special
software is required.
Future plans for program
MMIR is constantly evolving. HAI currently is working on a major facelift of Internet MMIR
that will also expand search capabilities. A private company, AlgoPlus, is developing a valueadded service to provide advanced statistical analysis of MMIR data for Full access subscribers.
Point of Contact
Ed Dicampli
Lee Powell
mmir@mmir.com
www.mmir.com

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GAIN Guide to Automated Airline Safety Information Sharing Systems

THIS PAGE LEFT BLANK

40

Appendix A
Guide Feedback Form
GAIN Working Group C encourages the submittal of any comments and/or suggestions
that will improve the content of future issues of this guide. Please submit this form to:

GAIN Working Group C


c/o Abacus Technology Corporation
5454 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 1100
Chevy Chase, MD 20815; USA
Fax: +1 (301) 907-0036
Name: ____________________________________________________________________
Title/Position: ______________________________________________________________
Company: _________________________________________________________________
Mailing Address: ____________________________________________________________
Phone/Fax Number: __________________________________________________________
E-Mail:____________________________________________________________________
1)

How useful is this guide on safety sharing systems to your organization? (Please circle one)
not useful -

- very useful

Comments:_________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
2) What information contained in this guide is most useful to your organization?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
3) What information would you like to see added to this guide?
___________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
4a) Which safety sharing systems shown in this guide have you or your organization used?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

A-1

4b) Please provide any comments that you would like to share with WG C regarding these
safety-sharing systems.
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
5) What safety sharing system does your organization need but does not have now?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
6) What are the most significant challenges your organization faces in using or implementing
safety sharing systems? (Please circle or underline all that apply)
Management Support

Money

Time

Resources

Knowledge of Existing Tools

Experience

Training

Software/Hardware Limitations

Information Security

Other: ______________________________

7) What activities should WG C undertake that would be most useful to you and your
organization?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
8) Would you or someone in your organization be interested in participating in WG C
activities? YES / NO
Would you like to be added to our mailing list? YES / NO

Other Comments/Suggestions: ____________________________________________________


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

A-2

Appendix B
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
AAIC
AASES
AQD
ASDSS
ASI-NET
ASN
ASR
ATA
ATEC
AVSiS
BA
BASIS
BMI
CAA
CAST
CICTT
COTS
CSV
CVR
DB
FAA
FOQA
FTP
GAIN
HAI
IATA
ICAO
IFSC
INFOSEC
IOSA
IT
JCAB
LOSA

Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee


ATA - Aviation Safety Exchange System
Aviation Quality Database
Aviation Safety Data Sharing System
Aviation Safety Information Network
Aviation Safety Network
Air Safety Reporting
Air Transportation Association
Association of Air Transport Engineering and Research
Aviation Safety Information System
British Airways
British Airways Safety Information System
British Midland Airways Ltd
Civil Aviation Authority
Commercial Aviation Safety Team
CAST/ICAO Common Taxonomy Team
Commercial Off the Shelf
Comma Separated Value
Cockpit Voice Recorder
Database
Federal Aviation Administration
Flight Operational Quality Assurance
File Transfer Protocol
Global Aviation Information Network
Helicopter Association International
International Air Transport Association
International Civil Aviation Organization
Italian Flight Safety Committee
Information Society of the European Commission
IATA Operational Safety Audit
Information Technology
Japan Civil Aeronautics Board
Line-Oriented Safety Assessment

B-1

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations


(continued)

MMIR
MMS
MOU
NTSB
ODBC
OEMs
PC
PKI
SAC
SDR
SIE
SRA
SSL
SSR
STEADES
SWAP
TSB
XML
XSLT

Maintenance Malfunction Information Report


Make, Model, Series
Memorandum of Understanding
National Transportation Safety Board
Open Database Connectivity
Original Equipment Manufacturers
Personal Computer
Public-Key Infrastructure
Safety Advisory Committee
Service Difficulty Report
Safety Information Exchange
Systems, Research and Analysis
Secure Socket Layering
Standard Sharing Report
Safety Trend Evaluation and Data Exchange System
Safety With Answers Provided
Transportation Safety Board
Extensible Markup Language
Extensible Style Language Transformation

B-2